This summer has been a strange one for me. This is the first summer I wasn’t flying off to a dance intensive, trying to maintain my dance technique or trying to fit a perfect body mold that the dance program I was a part of told me I needed to be. Because of that, I have so much more freedom in my life from where my body sits, what allow myself to do, the friends I have been able to surround myself in, and where I allot my time.
At the beginning of the summer, I set one goal: this summer, I want to find balance. We are now rounding out on the last days of the summer, and my senior year of college is right around the corner, but yet here I am feeling like I have not even come close to scratching the surface of that goal.
I realized this summer two things: 1. I have idolized busyness. And 2. I have taken a step backwards and away from where I feel God calling me. Both of these things go hand in hand, and both of these have contributed to an imbalance in my life. But not only that, I’m not living simply, and I’m not living sincerely. (Caught red-handed, I know...)
I’m writing this because I know I’m not alone out there. I’m not alone in feeling imbalanced or out of line of the direction I thought I was supposed to be going. So if that’s you, I hope these words bring you hope.
So number #1, I have idolized busyness. I thrive by using my planner. I thrive by filling those blank pages. I thrive when I am going from lunch date to work to online class to workout. But sometimes thriving is not living. I often find myself running and running and running and at the end of the day, I am so worn out that all I want to do is sit there and binge watch 10 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m on season 13, still going strong!). There is nothing wrong with wanting to watch Netflix, but there is something wrong with the reason behind wanting to shut down completely and having no motivation to do anything else because you are so tired. This, my friends, is called hitting a wall. This is where we hit our breaking points. This is where we have our emotional breakdowns. This is where we have anxiety attacks. This is where our mind starts telling us lies. This is where illnesses set in. This is where we realize that we need to slow down.
And so, I try. I try to slow down, but then time and time again, things starts piling up and I can’t help but say “yes” to people when they ask for my help. It’s a never-ending cycle, and I catch myself time and time again trying to break it. But I promise you, it is breakable, and I challenge you to break it with me.
Let’s start saying “yes” not when people ask for it, but when YOU ask for it. God created the world in 6 days, and on the 7th day, he rested. He created rest, so wouldn’t you think that everything He creates is important and needed? I would have to say so. So let’s start asking for rest.
Create a list of do’s and dont’s. Do: say yes to rest. Do: start each morning with a devotional or a meditation. Do: shut down your computer and phone at the end of the night and spend time with your family or friends. Do: take time for you. Don’t: bring work home with you. Don’t: say yes to things that don’t bring you joy. Don’t: be afraid to tell someone you can’t go out with them because you need a night in. Don’t: be afraid to give yourself time for rest.
This is my list, what’s on yours? Go ahead, write it out. Now, go live it out. Make it happen and stick to those boundaries for yourself. Find peace, fiend rest, live, don’t strive, you don’t have to thrive, live.
And then #2: I feel like I have taken a step backwards and away from what God is calling me to do. At the very beginning of this year, I felt God speak into the direction my life should be going. I heard him whisper in my ear a calling He placed in my soul. I felt so at peace in that moment and in the months following, but as I settled into that direction, I feel like I became comfortable and started doing my own thing, not God’s thing. I started walking my own path instead of His path for me. Who else out there feels like this??
And then I realized that no matter how far away I walk in my own path rather than His path for my life, He will always take me down a back road and bring me back to His path. That path brings peace. I started realizing the things that bring me joy: living simply and sincerely while loving and serving others and using my words to give hope to others. That’s the path that God has intended for me all along. Serving, loving, encouraging. Simple right? But as I started filling my life with this, that, and the other thing, idolizing the busyness, I started noticing the peace disappearing.
Sometimes its hard for me to write encouraging blog posts of #TeachLoveTuesday posts when I don’t feel like I have an overwhelming sense of joy and peace. It’s easy to walk away from encouragement when you don’t have encouragement. But you always do, because God’s on your team, and that’s the best encouragement you could ever have.
So I challenge you to take a look at where you are at. Are you filled with peace? Are you finding your joy? What is different in this season than the last? Are you walking in purpose and direction for your life?
To wrap it all up, I’m not perfect friends. Actually, I am far from that! For example, every time I post a blog post or make a post on Instagram, I receive a text message from my mama telling me all the typos I made in the post. So excuse my grammar mistakes and my typos, but more importantly, these two realizations that I made over the summer are a little check-in with myself. I haven’t found perfect answers to these imperfections in my life because it’s just that—it’s life! And life is an ever-changing, ever-evolving winding path. But I am going to constantly check-in. I’m going to continue to try my best to live in the path that God has called me to, and continue to live my life simply, and sincerely,